Hi! This is it. My first post! Allow me to introduce myself first and then I’ll dive into why I decided to start this blog.
Name: Financially Savvy Dad (remaining anonymous so the information I share with you doesn’t affect my career – employers can get funny about hiring people who intend to retire early 🤷♂️)
Age: 29 (rapidly approaching 30)
Location: England (this is important! I’ll get onto why a bit later)
Job: Research & Development
Other: New Dad, Husband and aspiring retail investor.
Pretty average, right? I love my family, like my job and get by alright. I’m not rich, I earn not much more than the national average, ~£40k at present, and I’m relatively unremarkable in the grand scheme of things. However, in the last few months I’ve become both financially savvy, and a Dad. Hence the catchy blog name. So, what’s this all about? Well, in a nutshell, it’s about recording my journey to achieving financial independence and retiring early. I’m not here to brag. I’m here to hopefully help you, yes you, achieve Financial Independence (FI) with me. By sharing the things I’ve learned that have enabled me to refer to myself as a Financially Savvy Dad, I hope to empower others to take action, so you too can become a financially savvy person, and hopefully get a grip of your finances, secure that rainy day fund you’ve always known you should have, get out of debt and, ultimately, retire (much) earlier than your 60’s (or whatever the ridiculous state pension age is by the time we get there).
“..you don’t have to work if you don’t want to.”
‘WTF is FI?’, you ask. Well, anyone that’s heard of the FI, or FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement knows that it is essentially about living intentionally; applying common sense, investment strategy, frugality and the odd life hack to your finances and life choices. Earning more, spending less, investing the difference and enjoying the ride along that way so you don’t have to work until you’re nearly dead only to experience an unenjoyable, limited retirement because you were dependent on your state pension or lousy employer pension scheme alone. The aim is to achieve a stash of cash (A.K.A. your FI number) that you start to draw down on to cover your living expenses ahead of your state pension age so that you don’t have to work if you don’t want to. I emphasise this because, as David Sawyer points out in his brilliant book, Reset it’s about having the freedom to choose. He calls it ‘F.U. Money’, having a stash you can retire early on so when your employer asks you to do something you don’t want to do when you’re at FI, you can reply ‘fuck you’ (or, being British, politely decline) because you don’t need that job. You’re there because you choose to be. It’s about putting the power in your hands.
‘Well, WTF is my FI number?’. I have a spreadsheet that I used to calculate mine, which I’ll be sharing in a few posts time. But essentially, it’s your yearly expenses in retirement, multiplied by 25. This is the stash you’ll need. If you’re reading this, you probably have no idea what your expenses are now, let alone in retirement. Fear not! Subscribe to my blog and all your questions will be answered! But say your yearly expenses are £25,000. This multiplied by 25 = £625,000. This might seem an impossible amount of money to save at this point, but stay with me. You won’t regret it. The next step is, simply to work out how to save that stash ASAP by implementing the techniques I will be sharing with you. Once you’ve saved your stash, you’re at FI. Congratulations. Simple as that. Look out for my next post for more details.
“But hey! That’s just how it is right?”
I started this blog for two distinct reasons:
1) The personal reason: My wife recently gave birth to our beautiful daughter, and this somewhat re-prioritised my whole life in an instant. I was, all-of-a-sudden, very aware that I wanted to be more in control of our finances so I had absolute certainty that we were secure, and that I could support us, no matter what! I also wanted to be more in control of my free time and choose when I could retire so I could be there for my family and spend as much valuable time with them as possible while I’m still healthy. Needless to say, the prospect of working until I was 70 did not fit with this Utopian dream. But hey! That’s just how it is right? Our generation are screwed. And we basically have to work until we’re 70 and beyond before we can retire on a crappy pension, if at all, right? Wrong! As I soon found out…
By pure coincidence, when decorating our daughters nursery, a few months before she was born, I came across a podcast called ‘Choose FI’. This was an extremely apt moment for me when I look back on it, as I’d never listened to a single podcast before in my life and found this one completely by chance. What I learned in the following two-day binge from the hosts of this show and it’s various, inspiring guests has and will change the course of my life and my families lives, forever. No exaggeration. I needed to share this with as many people as possible! I had to start this blog!
2) The other reason: two common themes occurred to me when listening to these podcasts and scouring the various blogs and books that they referenced:
a) Most of these people were from the US, and
b) Most of them had already achieved FI.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learnt a ton from these people and I urge you to go and listen to Choose FI at your earliest convenience! As you will also learn invaluable lessons. However, I felt there was a gap in the form of someone who had just started their journey to FI, who was from the UK, who could share their journey, as it happens and provide an account of all their successes and failures (hopefully more of the former than the latter 🤞). A live case study. People like David Sawyer and the blogger, Monevator have gone a long way to filling the UK-based-FI gap, and reading their material has equipped me with the knowledge and confidence I needed to start my own journey. But I’m pretty sure they’re both at FI and already reaping the benefits. I, on the other hand, am not.
What I hope to achieve by writing this blog is to inspire others to start their own journey to FI by showing that it is possible to retire much, much sooner than you think. That it’s never too late to take control of your finances and secure a less stressful, money-worry free future for you and your family. No matter what your income is, how busy you are or your current financial situation. I will share the tools, techniques, life hacks, investment strategies (not as scary as it sounds, I promise!) and frugal wins that will help me achieve FI and retire early. Then you can take what works, apply it to your own life and take back control!
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